The Connection Between Mydriasis & Sexual Arousal

mydriasis


Mydriasis is a condition in which the pupil of the eye is dilated for unusually long and does not return to the normal state for a noticeable period. There could be a number of causes to that, the most frequents ones of which include the use of certain drugs and trauma to the eye. However, you would be interested to know that mydriasis is even caused in some cases due to very strong sexual arousal and the excitement associated to the emotion.

In a study carried out by the researchers from the New York Medical College, the New York University School of Medicine and a few other medical institutes based in New York City, it was found that orgasms potentially trigger angle-closure, which is a condition involving damage to the optic nerve. At least, it is found that sexual arousal can lead to the enlargement of the pupil of the eye.

In a case, orgasm was even found to have caused papillary block along with angle closure, but with a preexisting condition of narrow chamber angle. It is explained by the fact that the papillary block and the condition of mydriasis is caused by the stimulation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, which in turn stimulate the iris sphincter, which helps making the movement of the pupil.

In this case, the stimulation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems gave rise to dilated pupils due to dark and also because of the zonular relaxation caused by the ciliary contraction giving rise to the damage to the nerve and the condition of mydriasis. Oxytocin, a hormone associated with orgasm and the reproductive system, is also a factor behind the instances of mild and moderate mydriasis during sexual arousal and orgasm.

Mydriasis - What Are the Risks and Complications?

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Mydriasis is certainly a disorder, but it is not really a serious threat to the eye, apart from any other injury which would have caused the condition in the first place. In most cases, the condition of mydriasis subsides by itself. Therefore, there are not really any major risks and complications associated with the condition.

However, a lot of people who do experience the condition staying for a very long time, do seek some sort of treatment and drugs to get the condition of the pupil back to normal. Most of the time, no medicine is really required for the treatment and neither do most eye specialists or other related physicians recommend the use of any medicine, but in some cases a few medicines could be prescribed.

Usually it is safer to avoid using any medicine which will have adverse side effects, which could aggravate the weakness in the eye or could lead to some other possible condition. Usually, the physicians recommend the patient to wait for the recovery of the damage to the parasympathetic nerve that caused the problem.

In the meanwhile, the victims suffering from mydriasis may complain of sensitivity to light. In such a case, either opaque-colored contact lenses or light-sensitive sun glasses should be used to avoid discomfort or any other adverse reaction to the eye.

Some people usually fear other symptoms, which have been preexisting or resulted coincidentally at the same time of the occurrence of the condition, such as headaches, but there really is not any connection, unless the symptoms pertain to the damage of the optic nerve. But in that case too, it has nothing to do with Mydriasis itself.

Mydriasis - The Drugs That Could Cause the Condition of Mydriasis

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There are quite a few causes of mydriasis. It can occur as a result of an injury, with a blow disturbing the parasympathetic nerves connecting the eye, or the related nerves could even be damaged through the action of a foreign agent, such as drugs. In fact, a lot of cases of mydriasis are resulted due to the use of certain drugs, and you will be surprised to know that there are quite a few drugs which can lead to this condition of the eye in which the pupil remains dilated for an unusually long period of time, which is not the case normally, often causing sensitivity to light.

The condition of mydriasis could be caused by groups of drugs such as hallucinogens, anticholinergics and dissociatives. Anticholinergics like atropine and scopolamine, block the muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the nerves connecting to the eye, which cause the pupil to remain dilated. Hallucinogens, on the other hand, work by blocking the 5-HT2A receptors in the brain which result in the condition. Prominent hallucinogens causing the condition are LSD, mescaline and psilocybin.

Dissociatives cause mydriasis by blocking the NMDA glutamate receptors in the nervous system, and examples include ketamine, PCP and DXM. Even some antidepressants, like SSRIs, SNRIs and MAOIs, and other drugs which increase the levels of serotonin in the brain, which is a chemical associated with the feelings of happiness, cause the condition. There are number of other drugs that cause the condition as well, and there is a completely separate group of drugs knows as Mydriatics which are used to induce this condition on a person for medical reasons. Tropicamide is an important and frequently used mydriatic.

Mydriasis – The Body Mechanism Behind It

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You do not really have to be a medical expert to know that movements in the body are caused by the coordination of the relevant muscles and nerves with the brain and the central nervous system, and this is also the case with the movement of the pupil in the eye. Therefore, it is not difficult to see that a problem like Mydriasis, which is the abnormal dilation of the pupil of the eye, is caused when the normal operation of this system is disturbed, either through injury or the interruption caused by a drug.

A brief look at the structure of the muscles and nerves in the eye could help you understand how actually Mydriasis is caused. The muscles that involve the movement of the iris, which in turn also control the size of the pupil are radial muscles, which are connected by the sympathetic nervous system, and the circular muscles, which are connected to the nervous system through the parasympathetic nervous system.

This nerve-muscle combination works in such a way that the contraction of the radial muscle makes the pupil dilate, while the contraction of the circular muscle makes the pupil contract. Whenever there is an interruption in this mechanism, that is, an agent or injury causing either the connection of parasympathetic nerve to be suspended or making the sympathetic nerves connecting to the radial muscles work in an abnormal manner.

To put it simply, whenever the normal function of nerves and muscles responsible for making normal pupil movements are affected in such a way that the contraction of the pupil is prevented, mydriasis will occur.

Mydriasis - Introduction & Causes

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Mydriasis is a disorder of the eye in which the pupil of the eye dilates abnormally, and stays in dilated form regardless of the change in the light stimulus. It is a commonly observed fact that the pupil changes size, like the shutter of the lens, in order to adjust for changing lighting conditions and to protect the sensitive retina of the eye, but in the case of the person suffering from Mydriasis, the pupil remains dilated even in the broad daylight. There could be various causes for Mydriasis. It could be caused by trauma to the eye. An injury to the head or the eye which damages the iris sphincter can cause Mydriasis because it is this delicate muscle which controls the movement of the pupil. If the oculomotor nerve is damaged, then that could lead to the development of the condition. This condition could even be caused by the use of drugs. Sometimes, the condition of mydriasis even occurs during intense sexual arousal. Drugs are among one of the major causes of the disease. A number of groups of drugs such as the anticholinergics like atropine, hallucinogens such as LSD and mescaline, dissociatives like ketamine could cause Mydriasis. Some antidepressants or other drugs increasing serotonin levels could also cause Mydriasis. Mydriasis could even result as one of the withdrawal symptoms of opioids like heroin and morphine. Sometimes, drugs called Mydriatics like tropicamide are administered for certain medical requirements or treatment of certain conditions such as photophobia, or intolerance to bright light, which can make the pupil dilate.

Mydriasis Causes & Treatment

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As we discussed earlier, Mydriasis is a condition wherein the pupil is dilated and remains so for prolonged duration. There are two types of the condition: Unilateral or Bi-lateral. There many causes that are attributed to this condition, though only a few are listed herein. Few health conditions are also listed while other causes include drugs and trauma.

The most common causes include health conditions like Carotid artery aneurysm, Botulism, Adie's syndrome, Acute angle-closure glaucoma, Ocular surgery, Brain death, Raised intracranial pressure, Serotonin syndrome, Cerebral oedema and other causes like Antipsychotic agents, Cocaine, Lysergic acid diethylamide, Dopram Injection and lots more.

The most common drugs that are used to treat Mydriasis are Phenylephrine, Scopolamine and Murocol-2. They also suggest using eye protection until the condition is treated. However, seeking medical attention immediately is very important. Timely treatment goes a long way in curing or managing Mydriasis. The condition is often temporary, though becomes permanent due to improper treatment or ignorance often. Mydriasis that are due to health conditions and the outcome of treatment largely depend on the health condition itself.

Generally the affected individual, does not experience pain, though discomfort persists until the condition is cured.  There are few drugs that result in temporary Mydriasis, like for eg: eye drops used during a routine eye check-up. However, for all other related causes, a health specialist should be consulted. They suggest few tests and also analyze other symptoms, to determine the cause of the problem, to treat and eradicate it completely

What is Mydriasis?


What is Mydriasis? It's a condition where the pupil if the eye remains dilated, for abnormally prolonged duration. The reasons could be attributed to diseases, trauma or even drugs. Everybody would know that pupils dilate with darkness and constricts when it is bright. When this does not happen automatically and the pupil remains dilated, it's either called Mydriasis or referred as “Blown Pupil” colloquially.

The size of the iris is governed by circular and radial muscles. These muscles, are in turn controlled by parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems respectively. The former is responsible for the constriction of the pupil and the latter it's dilation. When this does not happen, it is either the malfunctioning of the parasympathetic nerve or hyperactivity of the sympathetic nervous system.

Normally the pupils dilate during strong emotional movements like an intercourse and constricts within few minutes. Abnormal dilation of pupils is often attributed to trauma due to head or eye injury, that damages the nerves or deactivates the sensitivity to light. There are few drugs that impair the iris movement causing temporary or permanent Mydriasis.

The other causes can be attributed to health conditions like Botulism, Traumatic iridoplegia, Adie's syndrome, Aortic arch syndrome, Brain Death, Weber Syndrome, use of cocaine, or plant due to potato or Angel’s trumpet, etc. However, proper medical attention should be sought to deal with this condition.  Only a qualified health professional might be able to analyze the cause of the problem and suggest the right medication that will suit the individual.